Functional Resonance Analysis: Diagramming Your System

Thursday, June 15, 2023 - 11:55 am12:20 pm

Tanner Lund, Indeed


Nobody's system works exactly the way they think it does. On top of that, systems of people and software are constantly changing, resulting in a regular need to update our limited understanding of how things actually work - where the sources of our success are, where our risks are, and how things behave.

The Functional Resonance Analysis Method (FRAM) is one way to study complex systems. It models them in terms of their functions, dependencies, and interactions - identifying variance in function outputs (which can be good too!) instead of a "success/failure" paradigm. This approach allows for a better understanding of how systems work and - importantly - how they interact.

At the end of this session you should be able to understand such a model and evaluate whether it can help you better understand your own systems.

Tanner Lund, Indeed

Tanner Lund has been studying incidents and what they can tell us about systems for the better part of a decade. During his time supporting cloud platforms, building data pipelines, managing crises, and improving site reliability, he's found there is a lot more to understand about how software and people work (and don't work) together. Throughout it all his focus has been on understanding complex systems and how we achieve our goals through them, seeking to unlock their secrets. That may take a while...

@conference {288287,
author = {Tanner Lund},
title = {Functional Resonance Analysis: Diagramming Your System},
year = {2023},
address = {Singapore},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = jun

Presentation Video